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October 1, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: Accounting Firms and Higher Ed; Undeserved Vacation and Bonuses | 01.05.17

Firms and schools

Yesterday, I mentioned an article that pointed out that the Big 4 and Grant Thornton aren't all they're cracked up to be, despite what many professors tell their students. But you can't really blame the professors all that much. You see, getting in good with higher ed is just something mega accounting firms do. Look, here's the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporting that PwC has pledged $11 million to Carnegie Mellon University this year "and potentially $31 million over the next five years […] to establish a Risk and Regulatory Services Innovation Center."

Schools don't ignore sums of money like that! So it's understandable that professors would suggest that these firms are where students should start their careers. If the school becomes a dependable pipeline for talent, they can count on more money. It's just a game, man.

Accountants behaving badly

Most of the time, it's hard to feel bad for these accountants who steal from their employers. They know what they're doing is wrong, but are driven by a gambling problem or run-of-the-mill greed or to keep up with the Joneses. But this case out of New Hampshire is a little different. It involves Kelly Redmond, an accounting manager at a insulation company who "was accused of collecting raises and vacation pay she was not entitled to receive." The company busted her when she took a vacation, which is not unusual in cases like these. However, there's a little more to it:

Police explained that Redman was hired at a salary of $75,000 per year with no paid vacations. However, an audit showed that she had paid herself for several weeks of vacation.

The audit reveals that there were many weeks when Redman would give herself an "extra payment" of several thousand dollars on top of her regular week's pay.
Wait, do some businesses still do this? That is, "You don't work, you don't get paid"? I was caught up in a moment of populist rage for a minute, thinking, "I don't blame her for paying herself while on vacation," but then I read on:
In some instances, when employees were issued annual bonuses, Redman would reduce the bonuses of other employees to give herself an unauthorized bonus, police said.
Sure, you're getting screwed. But chances are, these other employees are getting screwed, too. So you're screwing people who already getting screwed? That's messed up. 


Has Donald Trump released his tax returns?

Nope! But Oregon Senator Ron Wyden introduced a bill yesterday — the Presidential Tax Transparency Act — that would "require all sitting presidents to release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Office of Government Ethics." It would also require presidential nominees to release their tax returns within 15 days of the becoming the nominee at the party's convention.

Elsewhere: Jay Clayton is officially the Mashed Carrot-elect's nominee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Previously, on Going Concern…

I had some technology issues to attend to yesterday so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. All I can offer you is this post from the archives when I compared the Big 4 to the four houses in the Harry Potter series.

In other news:

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